Looking Beyond the Jacket

How often have we misjudged people by assessing them based on susan-boyle-pic-itv-113257880-300x216what we see on the outside?  Writer Baltasar Gracian said, “Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem.  Most things are judged by their jackets.”

Gracian’s statement is so true. We use an eye-balling standard of judgment with people.  We myopically size them up based on a narrow list of criteria. Then, without consideration of the whole person, we mindlessly slap an invisible label on them and carelessly move on.  It is shameful how systematically we do this, overlooking the fact that every person is made up of body, soul and spirit. Oh, what substance and richness lay within people, unheard and unappreciated if we settle only for what they seem… as opposed to who they are.

Every now and then, by the grace of God, we are eclipsed by something wonderful that causes us to take a second look and hopefully lend an ear. At the time of this writing much of the free world gave that courtesy to Susan Boyle.

Susan was a 47 year old Scottish woman with a dream of becoming a professional singer.  She auditioned on the show, “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the video of her performance had circled the globe through the Internet.  The video was so stunning that it had been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube alone.  I watched it myself a dozen times with torrential tears.

Susan’s appearance and mannerisms were unassuming and slightly peculiar.  She was an atypical contestant, because she was not outwardly glamorous or hip.  It was evident that the judges and audience were dubious about her singing ability, as she was quietly scorned up to the second that she opened her mouth.

Then came Susan’s moment; this dear lady sang, “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables”, and her very first words caused the auditorium to literally erupt with cheers!  Her humble presence and magnificent voice sent an undeniable message of beauty and grace to every ear. Her voice opened the door for us to know her.  She was more than she had seemed!

The Bible says in James chapter 2. “… If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, ‘Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!’ and either ignore the street person or say, ‘Better sit here in the back row,’ haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted?”

I believe that God used the fulfillment of Susan Boyle’s dream to get our attention. He expects us to care equally about all people.  He wants us to look beyond the jacket of those we meet.  It is His desire that all would have opportunity to sing!

1 Timothy 1:5 NIV The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 4/22/2009 12:29 AM

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